Friday, December 3, 2010

Rifle Calibers Distribution

Cost Effective Rifle Cartridges Part 13: Chamberings Distribution Across Categories

Recently we reviewed rifle chamberings availability across all rifles on sale (on Gunbroker, the largest online rifle auction site) and for new chamberings only (looking at Bud's, an online gun shop with a very broad searchable rifle inventory). When we compare how chamberings are distributed across cartridge categories, between available rifles for sale on Gunbroker, and new chamberings at Bud's, we find that new chamberings significantly favor medium game (going from 21% to 38%) rifles against .30 caliber rifles (34% going to 25%) and varmint rifles (23% going to 18%), everything else being roughly the same. We originally thought that this might be a significant preference shift by hunters.

After discussing this possible trend with multiple large scale dealers, we know feel that some of this trend - although not all- is an artifact of the way we count. When looking at Gunbroker (existing chamberings), we count every rifle for sale. When looking at Bud's (new chamberings), we only count different chamberings or SKUs. However, chamberings in popular calibers, such as most .30 caliber cartridges, sell more than other chamberings, resulting in more actual sales for the same number of chamberings. We believe that some of the effect we see between medium game cartridges and .30 caliber rifles is due to this bias effect - but it is improbable that it is totally due to it. On the other hand, it is not possible to explain the extension of medium game rifles against varmint rifles in the same way, because the distribution of popular to unpopular chamberings is roughly the same between the two.

After analysis, we believe that there is a shift to medium game rifles from varmint rifles and .30 caliber rifles, although its actual effect on .30 caliber rifles is probably less marked in reality than in our data.

Next we discuss chamberings for rimfire rifles... So come back soon!

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